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Are You Shaming Your Potty-Training Toddler Without Realizing It?

potty training

Potty-training can be one of the most challenging stage of parenting, there's no doubt about that. Even if you're one of those lucky parents whose kids potty trained fairly easily, you probably still had a few days where you thought it would turn into a disaster! It's hard on parents, and hard on kiddos. The good news is, kids eventually get potty-trained. They don't go to high school in diapers or pull-ups, you know? But during this difficult stage, it's important to remember that they're trying and learning as they go, and that it isn't as easy as it seems! Even if you have the patience of a saint, it's possible that you may have shamed your potty-training toddler at some point without even realizing it. We all do it! Not on purpose, certainly, but we're human and we make mistakes (just like our kids). If you're in the thick of potty-training, or planning to start, try to avoid some of these situations to make it as easy as possible for everyone involved.

Don't call your toddler a baby!

Honestly, let's just avoid name-calling in general when it comes to our kids, yes? But especially when they're potty-training. Yes, babies wear diapers, but if your toddler is meeting all their other milestones (talking, self-feeding, etc.), being in diapers still doesn't make them a baby! And if they're old enough and big enough to start potty-training, that would make them ... not a baby.

Punishing them for accidents is counterproductive.

According to nearly every single parenting expert, negative reinforcement does nothing to speed up potty-training. An accident during potty-training is just that - an accident! Do we punish them for dropping their milk or bumping into a display at a store? No. Punishing your toddler for having an accident can undermine their self-confidence, and actually make the whole process a lot harder.

Don't tell them people will make fun of them for not being potty-trained.

First of all, that's not going to happen. No one is going to tease your toddler for not being potty-trained! But what you are doing by saying this is passive aggressively telling your kid that you will make fun of them. Kids are a lot smarter than we give them credit for, and they will 100% pick up on that.

Fears about potty-training are completely normal, so don't tell your kid that their fears are invalid.

Honestly, toilets are weird and we can totally see how they'd be scary for a little one! So what if your child is afraid they're going to be sucked into the toilet, or the sound of the flushing toilet frightens them. New things are scary, and as silly as it might seem, you have to look at this from the perspective of your toddler: this is a new thing! So it's probably a little terrifying. Just use positive reinforcement and help them work through their fears, without telling them it's silly to be afraid of something.

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